Vedamurti Shri Vivek Shastri L. Godbole is the Acharya of the Shree Krishna Yajurveda Pathshala in Satara, India, an accomplished Vedic astrologer, and a highly respected champion of the revitalization of the Oral Tradition of the Vedas. He is widely known not only for his evocative Vedic chanting and his love of performing yajna, but also for his very accessible and fascinating explanations of Vedic philosophy, ritual and culture.
Shri Vivek Shastri comes from a lineage of 15 generations of learned practitioners of the Krishna Yajur Veda. He studied the Krishna Yajur Veda, according to the rare Hiranyakeshi Taittiriya Shakha, for twelve years under his own father, Vedamurti Shri Laxman A. Godbole of Satara in a small Vedashala sponsored by the Central Government of India. After completing Padapath and Kramapath, Shri Vivek studied Ghanapath, Jatapatha and Vikruti and also Sama Veda, in the Govardhani style, with Vedamurti Shri Somnath Shastri Bapat of Varanasi, and received an award for excellence through Sanga Veda Vidyalaya, Varanasi. Vivek Shastri has also received the Jyotish Shastri degree, and has been teaching Vedic astrology classes for the last 10 years.
Since 1997, he has been the Acharya of the Shree Krishna Yajurveda Pathshala in Satara, near Pune, India. This is a traditional residential school, where students, including his own son, learn to recite and imbibe the entire Krishna Yajur Veda Veda, according to the oral method of education, and also conduct yajnas, Vedic fire rituals, linked with these mantras. The curriculum of this gurukula preserves and revives Maharashtra’s endangered Hiranyakeshi branch of study of the Taittiriya Krishna Yajur Veda. In his book “The Rare Ved Branches” Shri Nanaji Shastri Kale of Barshi describes this as one of the ten most endangered Vedic sub-branches and praises Vedamurti Vivek Godbole’s Vedapathshala as the most prominent effort to revitalize its study.
Shri Vivek Shastri is known for his evocative and melodious chanting and exquisite pronunciation, and several recordings have been released of his recitation. He has also published many articles on the Vedic tradition, and co-authored a book on Vedic culture.
Shri Vivek Shastri and his family have been deeply inspired by Gurumayi Chidvilasanada, to whose blessings and guidance he attributes his ability to carry out the sacred work he is devoted to.
Shri Vivek has participated in more than 50 large-scale yajnas – Vedic fire rituals -- in India, the US and Europe, frequently in the key role of Acharya. He has lectured extensively both in the West and in India on aspects of the Vedic tradition. Shri Vivek Shastri has conducted Vedic Sammelans – conferences – throughout Maharashtra and neighboring regions, helping to inspire the founding of new vedashalas in these areas. He has also organized conferences for Vedic teachers from throughout Maharashtra, and for students Vedic students.
Shri Vivek Shastri has been honored by the Shankaracharyas of Shringeri and Kanchi for his outstanding contributions to the preservation and teaching of Vedic knowledge, and for his entrepreneurial efforts in revitalizing the Taittiriya Krishna Yajur Vaidika tradition in Maharashtra.